Monday, January 26, 2009

Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits

WOW. These are SO good. In my last post I said the lemon poppy muffins were the best breakfast ever, but I have to take that back. This is better.

This is a lesson to me on not to make snap judgments. This recipe is one I passed over many times when flipping through my Dorie book. I tend to skip recipes without pictures, as I have a weird theory that if the publisher didn't take a picture, it's not a good recipe and they don't want to draw your attention to it. That was not the case with this! I tried it regardless of my theory because I had some leftover pecans and sour cream from other recipes, and boy am I glad I made it! The biscuits were light, flaky, and delicious, with a hint of sweetness and a delicious crunch and flavor from the toasted pecans.

The secret here is to just barely mix the dough. You cut the butter up into small pieces and use your hands to just work it into the dough quickly. You stir quickly with a fork when adding the liquid ingredients, and just flatten it out with your hands instead of rolling it. Since the ingredients don't really get homogenously mixed together, the chunks of butter melting create flakes and pockets of air in your biscuits. (And if you eat them straight from the oven, you'll bite into layers with delicious, warm, melty butter- omg its amazing).

Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits, adapted from Dorie Greenspan Baking.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup finely chopped, toasted pecans

Ccenter a rack in the oven and preheat to 425 F.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the brown sugar. Toss in the butter, and using your fingers rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a pebbly mixture. The pieces will all look different, this is good.

Stir the sour cream and milk together and pour over the dry ingredients. Using a fork, stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Give the dough a quick kneading with your hands to make sure it's all combined. Don't overwork it. Toss in pecans and knead another 2 or 3 times, quickly.

Dust a work surface with flour (I always tape wax paper to the counter for easy cleanup). Pat the dough out with your hands. Size and shape doesn't matter, just try to mess with the dough as little as possible.

Use a biscuit cutter (or in my glass, a glass) to cut as many as you can out. Then gather the scraps, reroll, and cut again.

Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, until tall and golden brown.

These freeze decently. I wouldn't freeze and serve to guests, as the quality is definitely lessened if not eaten immediately. But they're okay for just you, or if your fam is not exceptionally picky. Defrost over night and pop back in the oven to warm up.

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